Poster gallery event runs July through Labor Day


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Highlighting a collection of British rail posters is this 1939 classic by Charles Mayo, "Speed to the West," which shows the Great Western Railway's King class locomotive steaming to holiday destinations in the West Country. Photos courtesy International Poster Gallery

BOSTON – International Poster Gallery speeds into summer with the gallery’s 17th annual summer poster show “Full Steam Ahead!” which features more than 50 original vintage travel, transportation and leisure posters from around the globe. The exhibition opened July 5 and runs through Sept. 6 (Labor Day), 2010. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. The gallery is located at 205 Newbury St., Boston. Call 617-375-0076 or visit www.internationalposter.com for information.

Ocean liners, trains and planes were technological marvels that fostered a Golden Age of Travel from the 1890s up to World War II. For the first time, travel became luxurious, as floating palaces, express trains, and clipper ships made “getting there” half the fun. Additionally, the completion of the railway networks and speedier intercontinental travel caused a leisure travel boom around the world, despite the interruptions and difficulties of a world war and economic Depression.

Among a wide selection of new additions to the gallery’s inventory is a fine group of 20 British rail posters. Highlighting this collection is a 1939 classic by Charles Mayo, “Speed to the West,” which shows the Great Western Railway’s superb King class locomotive steaming to holiday destinations in the West Country. 

A second group of posters is paced by Walter Greene’s “Adirondack Mountains Lake Placid,” one of several rare New York Central posters from the 1920s and 1930s featured in the exhibition. Three are by Leslie Ragan, the leading American Art Deco stylist who enjoyed a multi-decade relationship with the railway – his “Chicago” of 1929, the “Union Terminal Cleveland” of 1930, and the “New Empire State Express” of 1941.

Last but not least is a third collection of ocean liner posters. A stand-out is Cassandre’s difficult-to-find United States Lines of 1928 for the leading American transatlantic shipping company. This poster was created on the heels of his dynamic works promoting the Nord Express and Etoile du Nord that revolutionized transportation posters.

In addition, “Full Steam Ahead!” features travel poster classics by Roger Broders (Marseille Point de Depart de la Cote d’Azur), Herbert Matter (All Roads lead to Switzerland), David Klein (San Francisco) and others. Also included are the Chicago and New York Fairs of 1934 and 1939, as well as the 1912 Stockholm Olympics and Landry’s Grand Prix Lausanne of 1947.

“It is easy to see from this show why travel and transportation posters continue to be one of the most popular areas of poster collecting,” states gallery owner Jim Lapides. “They powerfully remind us of a romantic era now long past, and reignite the joys of discovery and enchantment we have all experienced in venturing to far away lands.”

In addition, IPG’s website offers a large collection of vintage advertising posters from around the world, nearly 4,500 images accessible through a powerful search engine. ?


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More Images:

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Leslie Darrell Ragan's "The New Empire State Express - New York Central System," 1941, 27 inches by 41 inches, photo offset backed on linen, is one of three posters on display by the leading American Art Deco stylist.

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